Roadmap to Victory: The next steps in winning marriage nationwide

Today, with two victories at the Supreme Court continuing to contribute fresh momentum in moving marriage forward, Freedom to Marry unveiled the next steps in the national strategy to win the freedom to marry across the country through 2016. The Atlantic broke the news in an exclusive story this morning. The plan, the next phase in the Roadmap to Victory, is the first concrete plan for nationwide victory since the Supreme Court rulings, and it extends the winning strategy that has led us to this moment: winning more states, ending federal marriage discrimination, and diversifying the growing majority of Americans who support the freedom to marry for all families.

Freedom to Marry founder and President Evan Wolfson reflected on the amazing momentum that the marriage movement has seen this year, and how we can move forward so that, very soon, all loving, committed same-sex couples in each and every state can share in the joys of the freedom to marry. He said:

This past year has brought our campaign galvanizing gains: winning seven states, solidifying and diversifying a national majority, and delivering a powerful blow to federal marriage discrimination in the Supreme Court. This irrefutable momentum confirms that the national strategy we have pursued is the strategy that will bring us to nationwide victory, and that full victory is within reach - within years, not decades. The key to winning is, as it has always been, that when we get to the Supreme Court with the next marriage cases, we go with more states and more support creating the climate for the justices then to do the right thing.

Here, we lay out how all three paths of the Roadmap to Victory will work together to bring us to a time when all families will be able to marry and have those marriages respected by the federal government:

To kick off our next phase of work to WIN MORE STATES, Freedom to Marry is today investing $500,000 in state marriage campaigns, inclduing $250,000 in the ballot campaign to win marriage in Oregon by overturning an anti-marriage constitutional amendment and replace it with the freedom to marry.

This fresh investment is part of more than $3 million that Freedom to Marry has raised and channeled to state marriage battles in 2013 through the Win More States Fund .

Freedom to Marry has also hired Richard Carlbom, who led an unprecedented success to defeat an anti-marriage constitutional amendment and win the freedom to marry in Minnesota through Minnesotans United for All Families, as our Director of State Campaigns. Freedom to Marry's National Campaign Director, Marc Solomon, welcomed Richard, on board: "Richard's wealth of experience and expertise will enable Freedom to Marry to continue to lead and accelerate the work required to win marriage nationwide. The groundbreaking campaign Richard led in Minnesota was a model of strategy, drive, and mobilization - exactly what we'll need to win the next waves of states."

In 2013 and 2014, under Richard's direction, Freedom to Marry will work to win marriage in four new states: Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Oregon. Along the way, we will be laying the groundwork for victory in at least six additional states in 2015 and 2016 - some combination of Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Freedom to Marry will continue working closely with our legal partners on state-specific public engagement strategies. 

One significant part of winning those victories will be continuing to lead the marriage movement's effort to bring state-of-the-art digital organizing tools and strategies to the states. In 2012 and 2013, we managed online work for the campaigns in Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, and going forward, we will continue managing online work for the campaigns in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey while supporting the work in Oregon. As part of our new phase to win marriage, we are proud to formalize this segment as our Digital Action Center to ensure that state campaigns can develop innovative digital communications and advocacy strategies, produce social media content, engage bloggers, and support the day-to-day needs of a robust online program. 

After the United States Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Windsor v. United States, which found that Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the law that denied federal respect for legal marriages between same-sex couples, unconstitutional, Freedom to Marry will work to fully END FEDERAL MARRIAGE DISCRIMINATION

We are guiding a multi-faceted strategy to ensure that legally married same-sex couples are treated as married for all federal programs. We will continue helping to guide work with the Obama administration, which has already proven to take strong steps to ensure that the Supreme Court ruling is fairly implemented in critical areas - including immigration and personnel policies for federal employees.

We will also continue leading the work to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill that would repeal DOMA entirely. Our bipartisan federal team in Washington, D.C. has helped increase support for the bill from 18 Senators and 108 Representatives at the time of its initial introduction in 2011 to 42 Senators and 161 Representatives in 2013, when it was reintroduced in Congress on June 26, 2013

Simultaneously, Freedom to Marry will continuing to GROW THE MAJORITY FOR MARRIAGE by deploying a diverse array of powerful messengers and groundbreaking research. Our new goal: increase public support for ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage to over 60% by 2016.

Read the entire plan in this next phase of our Roadmap to Victory HERE.